How long has the market been operating?
The City Market Farmers Market has been operating since 1857. We have a very long and colorful past!
How long have you worked with this market?
I have worked here for 5 months but have been coming here for 20 years. I actually live in the River Market, so this has been my home away from home for a long time. I worked for a farmer in the summer of 2007, and I fell in love even more with the vendors and our customers!
How would you describe this market compared to others?
We have a huge variety of produce some of which is unique to many of our cultures in the Kansas City Area. It is not only interesting to learn about the produce, but man, is it delicious! Our diversity of farmers and customers makes us special! We have local meat vendors whose products will melt in your mouth along with baked goods unlike any other. If you need gifts or are looking for something special for you, this is the place to shop.
We have extraordinarily gifted artists and crafters along with some retail food vendors whose goods will make your mouth water. Our farmers market is surrounded by the best restaurants in Kansas City and any kind of food you can imagine is being made right here in the City Market. We also have very cool boutiques and other shops that make it even more inviting to make a trip to the market. And, I do think we are the only market in which a person can arrive on a streetcar! The River Market neighborhood is a special place with a ton of history.
A trip to this market can be more than buying local produce! I encourage folks to spend a full day and take it all in! Deb Connors and I go the extra mile (we have a 500 mile radius) to check our farms and our artists to ensure the customers are getting the real deal!
Why was this market started?
In the 1850s, KC needed a place in which to house commercial activities. We are almost right on the Missouri and Kansas River confluence and this became a place where farmers, settlers, emigrants and riverboat crews could bargain, buy and trade. After some time, the railroad became a big factor as well and the market has played a significant role for trade in KC for many many years and in many forms.
What makes this market unique?
In addition to what I mentioned above, we have a Vintage Sale every Sunday! Here you will find great antiques, coins, clothes, books, vinyl, musical instruments, and just about anything you can think of. We are also a part of the Double up Food Bucks program that you all provide, and I think any time people can buy local and fresh food and have their money stretch further, it makes a difference for their health and wellbeing. I absolutely love the program! And I love the Seniors Farmer Market Nutrition Program!
How many people attend this market?
On our busiest holiday Saturdays (4th of July weekend, Mother’s Day, Labor Day), we can see 19,000 people come through! We probably average 12,000 on a regular Saturday. Sundays are a bit more laid back and we average 9,000 – 10,000 guests.
How many farmers vend at this market?
We can have up to 170 vendors!
Other fun vendors here?
We have bounce houses, education stations, car shows (The Art of the Machine), and a first Fridays event called “Be a Part of the Art”. We also have an array of talented buskers! Oh, and we have the Steamboat Arabia Museum!
Why should people shop at farmers markets?
Family farms are what will be feeding this nation in the future as well as today. It is so so important to support local farmers. This produce is grown by families, not big agricultural giants. That’s what makes it special and, in my opinion, healthier. We have to shop at farmers markets to keep them alive and thriving. Plus, it’s great to keep our hard earned dollars here locally instead of spending it with some big corporation that really does not have any skin in the game. With all of the talented artists and crafters we have right here, there is no need to shop anyplace else!
Why should farmers sell at farmers markets?
People come here to buy their food from local farmers. It has become more important for folks to know where their food is coming from. The amount of traffic and the people that become loyal to certain farmers makes it even more essential for farmers to sell at markets.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The diversity of our vendors and our customers! It’s a beautiful sight to see! Meeting people from all over our country (we get a lot of tourists) and our world!
What else do you want to say?
We are always open to visiting with farmers and other vendors about becoming a part of this market. It’s easy to get in touch with us! Please check out our website TheCityMarket.org and it will have all of the information a person needs to find out about vending here with us. Or, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, on our website is a list of and profile for each vendor, and where they are located on the weekend to make it easy for our customers to find their favorite vendor!
April to October
Saturdays: 7 am to 3 pm
Sundays: 9 am to 3 pm
November to March
Saturday & Sundays: 9 am to 3 pm